The mouth is often referred to as the “gateway to the body” and the “mirror of health” because it says a lot about a person’s overall health. In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement noting that keeping a healthy mouth can reduce the risk of wider health problems. Good oral health is especially important for pregnant women, as various studies have shown. Taking care of your teeth and gums is important at every stage of life. The Journal of Dental Research notes in its 2019 article that periodontal disease – a severe form of gingivitis that usually develops from milder inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) – is associated with more than 50 conditions, including diabetes and disorders. cardiovascular. The trade journal cites additional aspects for pregnant women that indicate a connection between periodontitis and negative pregnancy outcomes, such as low birth weight of the baby, premature birth or excessively high maternal blood pressure (pre-eclampsia).
Decreased rate of premature births and systemic inflammation
A randomized and controlled pilot study from the United States, in which 67 pregnant women with poor periodontal status took part, supports the thesis. Participants underwent non-surgical desquamation and root planing (deep teeth cleaning) during pregnancy, also receiving a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush for use at home. Preliminary results indicate a 3.8-fold reduction in preterm birth rates and a reduction in various molecular markers of systemic (whole body) inflammation .²
60-75% have gingivitis in pregnancy
Starting a pregnancy with healthy teeth and gums is of great benefit. Women should also be alert to the deterioration of their oral health during gestation. Because hormonal changes can lead to dry mouth, which in turn leads to a change in the buffering capacity of saliva, which promotes the spread of plaque biofilm. This leads to an increase in gingivitis, just like changes in the tissue of the oral mucosa. This so-called “pregnancy gingivitis” has been shown to affect 60 to 75% of pregnant women. ³ In some cases it can develop into periodontitis, which increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and other health problems⁴. It is all the more important to keep and monitor oral health closely.
Measures to maintain oral health
Dentists say thorough brushing for two minutes twice a day and regular dental checkups are the best ways to combat plaque buildup and prevent gingivitis in pregnancy. ⁵ However, there are other ways to maintain good oral health. such as regular use of Flossing or switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric model. Pregnant women suffering from morning sickness should also rinse their mouth with water after vomiting and then wait at least an hour before brushing their teeth. This is because the low pH value in the mouth caused by acid reflux attacks the surface of the nail varnish. This can cause abrasion of the enamel and dentin with immediate brushing, while rinsing with water instantly dilutes the acid, raises the pH and neutralizes.
Further information on: https://www.philips.de/ce/pe/dental-professionals/zahnmedizin-indikation/oral-and-overall-health and: www.philips.com/hebammen
¹ Beck JD, Papapanou PN, Philips KH, Offenbacher S. Periodontal medicine: 100 years of progress. J Dent Res. 2019 Sep; 98 (10): 1053-1062. doi: 10.1177 / 0022034519846113. PMID: 31429666.
² Offenbacher S, Lin D, Strauss R, McKaig R, Irving J, Barros SP, Moss K, Barrow DA, Hefti A, Beck JD. Effects of periodontal therapy during pregnancy on periodontal status, biological parameters and pregnancy outcomes: a pilot study. J Periodontol. 2006 Dec; 77 (12): 2011-24. doi: 10.1902 / jop. 2006.060047. PMID: 17209786
³Steinberg BJ. Women’s oral health problems. J Dent Education 1999; 63 (3): 271-275.
⁴ Sanz M, Kornman K; working group 3 of the joint EFP / AAP seminar. Periodontitis and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: Consensus Report of the Joint EFP / AAP Workshop on Periodontitis and Systemic Diseases. J Periodontol. 2013; 84 (4 Suppl): S164-S169. doi: 10.1902 / jop.2013.1340016